You Might Be Damaging Your Pearls While Cleaning Them, Check How

Pearls are among the most costly and fashionable stones on Earth. They’re one-of-a-kind and among the most prized items in every Southerner’s jewelry box. Pearls are frequently passed down as heirlooms and keepsakes, so keeping them clean and kept can provide long-term advantages. What is the best way to keep pearls clean?

How are Pearls Made?

Pearls are not only stunning to look at, but they are also magnificent natural masterpieces. Learning how they are manufactured will help you learn how to best care for them.

You Might Be Damaging Your Pearls While Cleaning Them, Check How

Pearls are generated inside a mussel or oyster (or any mollusk with a shell) as a method of self-defense; their beauty is, surprisingly, secondary to their purpose. When a mollusk recognizes that its shell has been breached by an irritant, it produces “nacre,” also known as mother-of-pearl. Nacre inside the shell traps and encases the irritant, shielding the mollusk’s sensitive and vulnerable body from harm.

Given the widespread use of pearls in jewelry, it’s easy to forget that pearls are still an uncommon find. A flawlessly smooth pearl takes years for a mollusk to form and is discovered in only about one in every 10,000 oysters.

Why Do Pearls Need Cleaning?

Depending on how frequently we wear them, pearls may come into contact with oils from our skin, lotions, grime, sweat, and perfumes. Anything that comes into contact with a pearl’s surface has the potential to decrease it over time.

Pearls are susceptible to abrasive cleansers, therefore they should be maintained with care to extend their life. A good rule of thumb? Pearls should be the last thing you put on in the morning and the first thing you remove at night.

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You Might Be Damaging Your Pearls While Cleaning Them, Check How

What You Will Need:

  • Two soft cloths
  • Lukewarm water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Mild detergent (optional)
  • Clean water
  • A bowl

Method 1: Clean with a Damp Cloth

  • In a clean basin, combine lukewarm water and mild dish soap. A few drops will suffice; no need to over-suds.
  • Dip the fabric you’ve chosen into the solution and wring off the excess moisture.
  • Gently wipe the pearls with a moist cloth, paying close attention to any obvious stains or discoloration.
  • Rinse the pearls in cool water and pat them dry with a second soft cloth.
  • Allow the pearls to fully dry before storing.

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Method 2: Clean with Mild Detergent

You Might Be Damaging Your Pearls While Cleaning Them, Check How
  • Create a solution of mild detergent (or dish soap) and lukewarm water.
  • Place the pearls in the solution and soak for a few minutes, enabling the soap to remove any surface stains or debris.
  • Gently agitate the pearls to help the detergent remove the spots, exactly as in a washing machine. Be extremely gentle with this step, as pearls are frequently strung on thin gold chains or other easily breakable knotted settings.
  • Rinse the pearls completely with cool water (or place them in a second basin of clean, cool water) and pat dry with a clean cloth.
  • Allow the pearls to fully dry before storing.

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How to Store Pearls Safely?

Taking extra steps to properly store your pearls makes a significant difference in their quality.

Pearls have a soft surface, making them more prone to scratches and damage from home irritants and cleaners. Storing pearls in a plastic bag, for example, is a major no-no. Some plastic bags contain chemicals that, over time, degrade the surface of pearls. Instead, choose flat storage (rather than hanging) in a silk or velvet bag.


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